With inputs from Umesh Kumar Dharmendra, Sustainability Manager

The race to be net zero is on – and India is forging ahead with zeal. At COP26, the country pledged to cut its net carbon emissions to zero by 2070, along with four more immediate targets for 2030:

  • Increase the country’s non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW
  • Meet 50% of its energy requirements from renewable sources
  • Reduce the carbon intensity of the economy by more than 45%
  • Lower total projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes

While these are laudable goals, India’s business leaders are calling for stronger action. A Salesforce-YouGov survey from our new report, Trail to Net Zero for India, found that 83% of business managers support a more ambitious net zero target of 2050. 

In addition, 79% support the provision of subsidies and incentives to businesses for the development of renewable energy technology. Many also see the transition to net zero as a growth opportunity that will result in more jobs and higher economic activity.

Commissioned by Salesforce in association with Access Partnership, the report examines India’s climate change efforts, evaluates the role of technology in achieving carbon neutrality, and provides policy recommendations to accelerate climate action.

Here are three key findings from the report:

1. India is making significant strides towards net zero – but will need the support of the private sector to advance efforts

Over the past decade, India has invested in various climate action initiatives such as river rejuvenation, green transport, and renewable energy. These efforts are gradually paying off. 

India currently holds the 10th position in the 2022 climate change performance index (CCPI) which ranks 60 countries and the EU based on their climate protection performance. India was rated high in three categories: Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, energy use, and climate policy. 

That’s certainly a milestone. But if we want to get on a 1.5°C emissions pathway, we need to be doing more. Corporates, NGOs, communities, and individuals must collaborate with the government to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and prioritise investments in energy efficient technologies. 

There are lots of ways in which the private and public sectors can work together. For example, the government can promote ecopreneurs and startups that are working on innovative climate change initiatives. Businesses, in turn, can invest in training and upskilling workforces to address climate challenges. 

Ultimately, it will take a concerted national and international effort to mitigate the climate crisis. The faster we get ahead of this challenge, the better. 

2. Cloud adoption in India will have a transformative impact on sustainability

Cloud computing’s economic benefits are well-known. It saves costs, improves security, enhances collaboration, and more. Yet, an often-overlooked advantage of the cloud is its impact on the environment in the form of lower energy consumption, carbon emissions, and waste. 

Our research predicts that by moving to the cloud, we can cut 2.2 million Mt of CO2 emissions in 2022. And if cloud operators use 100% renewable power, then the reduction in emissions can be as high as 60 million Mt between 2022 and 2030. 

So, not only does a cloud-first approach boost business profits – it also benefits the planet.

At Salesforce, we work closely with our data centre partners to minimise the cloud’s carbon impact. For example, we’ve increased the efficiency of software code, so that more can be achieved with each kilowatt of energy being used. We’re also a signatory of the ‘Corporate Colocation and Cloud Buyers Principles’ to aid sustainability efforts. 

Now, we’re encouraging other cloud companies and tenants of co-location facilities to maximise the use of renewable energy solutions. Together, we can achieve a lot.


India on the Net Zero path

Learn more about India’s march towards carbon neutrality in Trail to Net Zero for India.

3. Business stakeholders are demanding transparent, consistent reporting on sustainability

To build trust with stakeholders, businesses need to be transparent about their efforts to achieve net zero. But reporting can be challenging when sustainability data is scattered across systems and spreadsheets. Gathering and consolidating this data manually can take months. 

That’s why we at Salesforce built Net Zero Cloud. With it, you can reduce the time taken to measure and report on carbon emissions from months to weeks. 

Net Zero Cloud allows you to view, analyse, and report on your complete environmental footprint. It also helps you work with your entire value chain on emissions reduction. Easily report on Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, and share progress with Slack, and through powerful dashboards and analytics. Connect with your entire value chain to set science-based targets and reduce emissions. 

Companies are using Net Zero Cloud to:

  • Get a single source of truth (SSOT) for all their environmental data
  • Set climate goals and measure progress in line with Science-Based Targets
  • Share real-time progress with key stakeholders using investor-grade dashboards
  • Track and reduce Scope 3 emissions across the value chain 
  • Track hazardous and non-hazardous waste management data in one place

Walking the talk: How Salesforce became a net zero company

This year, we unveiled a new corporate value – sustainability. We also introduced a Climate Action Plan that focuses on six sustainability priorities:

  1. Emissions reduction
  2. Carbon removal
  3. Trillion trees and ecosystem restoration
  4. Education and mobilisation
  5. Innovation
  6. Regulation and policy

We’re proud to say that we’ve achieved net zero across our value chain, as well as 100% renewable energy for our operations. We’ve also funded more than 40 million trees. 

Just ahead of COP26, we announced two new natural climate solutions: the first, a global tree equity and urban reforestation initiative; and the second, a blue carbon program to conserve, protect, and restore coastal and marine ecosystems.

Join us at Salesforce Live: India to learn how we can mitigate the climate crisis together

Salesforce Live: India on July 6 will feature luminary speaker Sonam Wangchuk – Indian engineer, innovator, and education reformist. 

Sonam is known, among other things, for designing the SECMOL (Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh) campus. The buildings there run on solar energy, and use no fossil fuels for cooking, lighting, or heating.

Hear what Sonam has to say about How Corporates, the Govt. and Individuals Can Together Help Fight Climate Change. 

Sign up for Salesforce Live: India here.


India on the Net Zero path

Learn more about India’s march towards carbon neutrality in Trail to Net Zero for India.